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Domestic & Family Violence

Now more than ever, general practice plays a vital role in caring for people experiencing family and domestic violence.

International researchers have estimated that a full-time GP sees up to five women per week experiencing underlying intimate partner violence (this may or may not be identified by the GP) with depression being one of the strongest clinical predictors of intimate partner abuse. One in five currently depressed women attending general practices has experienced severe physical, emotional and sexual abuse by a partner or ex-partner in the past 12 months.

Research has also found that there is a spike in family violence during major crises and disasters. Annual crime statistics suggest that COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions may have driven record-high family violence rates.

Family violence

While men do experience family violence, it is women and children who are most affected. Often people in a violent or abusive relationship want to talk about the issue but are unsure who to tell, what to say or how to bring it up.

Starting the conversation can be challenging, but health professionals are well-placed to identify and respond to family violence. With the right tools and supports they can help empower women to break the silence and seek safety.

Primary Care Pathways to Safety: The Readiness Program 2021- 2022

Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network alongside the Safer Families Centre (The University of Melbourne) presents an excellent opportunity for General Practice to make an impact that can save lives.

The PHN is conducting a fully supported Quality Improvement (QI) activity in three pilots areas, Armidale, Central Coast and Tamworth.

Participating General Practices will receive accredited in-practice education facilitated by a local GP and Family Domestic Violence expert, support from Professor Kelsey Hegarty’s team at the Safer Families Centre (based at University of Melbourne), and other benefits, such as:

  1. 40 CPD Accredited Activities Points
  2. $3000 (ex GST) incentive payment*
  3. Eligibility for QI PIP funding
  4. Online Communities of Practice
  5. Whole of practice education
  6. Quality Improvement activities and support
  7. Access to a Domestic Violence Specialist
  8. Connection to local family violence support services.

To register your Practice’s interest in participating in The Readiness Program, please complete the Expression of Interest form.

For more program information, contact Shannon Richardson, Pilot Program Manager.

Please download further information included in the Primary Care Pathways to Safety Program Brochure below.

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